Thurrott Daily: March 10

Thurrott Daily: March 10
Image courtesy of Michael Gillett

A few tidbits from around the web.

3/10/2016 10:13:00 AM

Microsoft issues March 2016 evaluation VMs

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Microsoft has refreshed its collection of virtual machines in Hyper-V, Parallels, VirtualBox and VMWare versions.

Try out the Windows 10 development environment without spending the time it would normally take to set up and configure a device for development or test use. Run this VM on your current Mac or PC for a 60-day evaluation of the Universal Windows Platform tools and technologies to accelerate bringing your existing code to Windows.

We’ve provided a Windows 10 development environment in a number of different virtual machine implementations- matched to the latest release and ready to go.

These installs contain:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation, Version 1511
  • Visual Studio 2015 Community Update 1
  • Windows developer SDK and tools (Build 10586)
  • Windows IoT Core SDK and Raspberry Pi 2 (Build 10586.0.151029-1700)
  • Windows IoT Core project templates (Version 1.0)
  • Microsoft Azure SDK for .NET (Build 2.8.2)
  • Windows Bridge for iOS (Build 0.1.160304)
  • Windows UWP samples (Build 2.0.4)
  • Windows Bridge for iOS samples

Microsoft has released a Linux distribution. Sort of

On yesterday’s Windows Weekly, I mentioned that it’s only a matter of time before Microsoft releases its own Linux distribution. But as The Register points out, they kind of sort of already have.

Microsoft has released a homegrown open-source operating system, based on Debian GNU/Linux, that runs on network switches.

The software is dubbed SONiC, aka Software for Open Networking in the Cloud. It’s a toolkit of code and kernel patches to bend switch hardware to your will, so you can dictate how it works and what it can do, rather than relying on proprietary firmware from a traditional networking vendor.

SONiC builds upon the Windows giant’s Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) operating system that we learned about in September.

More than 25 per cent of virtual machines running on Azure are Linux-powered, up from 20 per cent six months ago.

Layoffs at Sonos

This one is troubling, though I’d like to see the firm dramatically lower pricing on its premium connected speaker systems. Sonos says it is laying off employees as part of a plan to transition to the future of music.

We’re not chasing short-term gains or answering to impatient investors. Rather, we’re making a decision to substantially and confidently increase our investment in the future of music.

The short term – and very difficult – consequence of this decision is we’ve had to make some changes to our team. We do this with a heavy heart, as we are in the process of letting go of some Sonos employees who have played important roles getting us to this point. We wish them well, and we’re doing everything we can to make their transition as smooth as possible.

So, what is the future of music? Paid streaming services and voice control, Sonos says.

The path forward for the music industry is crystal clear, so too is our path at Sonos. We’re doubling down on our long-held conviction that streaming music is the dominant form of consumption now and in the future. We believe that listeners will grow increasingly dissatisfied with the solutions they’ve cobbled together for listening at home.

Sonos is taking the long view in how best to bring voice-enabled music experiences into the home. Voice is a big change for us, so we’ll invest what’s required to bring it to market in a wonderful way.

They don’t offer any specifics on voice, but Sonos mentions Siri, OK Google, and Cortana, and openly admires the Amazon Echo, which it says is “the first product to really showcase the power of voice control in the home.” Sonos stops short of promising Echo integration, though I suspect that is happening, as is Sonos-specific voice control.

Samsung says Galaxy S7 pre-orders best yet

But then they would say that. Reuters reports.

Tech giant Samsung has seen stronger-than-expected preorders for its new flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones launching this week, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s handsets business, did not give a figure or disclose sales targets … But he said Samsung expects the S7s to help revive sales in China, the world’s top smartphone market where researchers say the Korean firm is lagging its competitors.

So nothing to see here, then.

Google Nexus 6P is getting updated too

In yesterday’s Thurrott Daily, I noted a coming software update for the Nexus 5X. No surprise, but it’s coming to the Nexus 6P as well.

The fixes for this build are similar to the ones I mentioned for the 5X. Some of the fixes will help with and address:

  • General device performance
  • DND next alarm disappearing issue
  • Carrier-specific bug fixes
  • Connectivity improvements

If you’re technical enough, you can grab the new factory image (there are different versions for the 5X and 6P, and for different carriers) now from the Google Developers web site. Or just wait, you’ll get the right one OTA soon enough.

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